Category Archives: Technology

Raising Digitally Savvy Kids

 

Media literate means to be adept at accessing media and to effectively use digital technologies to be participants in society. Media literate children are able to think critically about what they see and read as well as have positive interaction with digital technology. Tech savvy students can consume digital content and create literate media as a result of being media literate.

How do you teach kids to build digital media skills? When children are young, adult supervision is critical. Watching media with a child is a good start, but also discussing with them what they are viewing. It is important to discuss with students how they are using social media and how to recognize the fact that media design is advertising-driven. One of the best ways to build digital media skills is through creation and then sharing of media.

How can parents teach kids to balance tech and real life responsibilities? As adult role models, parents (and teachers) need to be cognizant of their own media consumption and consider when they choose tech over real life interactions. Parents should set clear limits (especially for younger children) regarding the amount of time spent engaged with tech and what media is being consumed. Parents can create a schedule prioritizing school work and play; and then providing opportunities for family time (meals together, family game night, outdoor activities).

How should parents approach teens about responsible tech/media use? The teen years are when identities are formed and are marked with experimentation in many areas; tech use included. It is a time when they begin to be exposed to adult experiences. Teens often hold little regard for parental (or adult) control. Rather, parents should see their role as an advisor setting reasonable limits. Parents can extend conversations about their own online experiences and stay informed about what is happening on all social media platforms.

With the current state of learning both at home and school, it’s more important than ever for schools to incorporate digital literacy into the curriculum. Organizations such as Common Sense Media offer MS/HS curriculum. Students should be taught to corroborate and verify any information they find online through the use of lateral reading (verify as you read). It is also important to teach students to continually question what they read and hear and teachers can facilitate those discussions in the classroom or video classroom.

What strategies can be used to teach children to think critically when using tech? Parents and teachers can look for teachable moments such as a child’s first encounter with a stranger online. Relate online situations to real life ones. Parents could take a family photo and then discuss the appropriateness of sharing it online; the discussion could extend to understanding digital security and how algorithms work for information sharing. Critical thinking must extend beyond the content to how the tech is being used; seeking a purposeful use of the media they consume.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Resources:

5 Ways to Raise Tech-Savvy Kids (& Responsible!)

How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids in the Digital Age

The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (book)

Screen Time: How Electronic Media–From Baby Videos to Educational Software–Affects Your Young Child (book 2012)

Digital Literacy: Raising Tech and Media Savvy Kids

Critical Media Project (website)

How to Raise Digitally Savvy Kids

Educating and Empowering Digital Citizens (website)

Digital Learning Projects for Tech Savvy Kids (2020)

How to Raise Digital Savvy Children in a Digital World

Tips for Parents on Raising Privacy-Savvy Kids (pdf)

8 Classroom Edtech Strategies That Develop Critical Thinking Skills

How to Use Technology to Foster Higher-thinking Skills in Class

Using Technology to Develop Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

Cybraryman’s Digital Literacy Page

Cybraryman’s Media Literacy Page

Zapatopi (website)

Dark Patterns (website)

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Distance Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

 

One of the biggest challenges of distance learning during the current pandemic has been the ‘overnight’ transition to online instruction; little preparation time; lack of interaction with staff and colleagues; and mostly missing students. Reimagining education (a future #gtchat topic) is beginning to dawn on educators. Is it time to rethink how we educate our students? Do we really need standardized testing, hours ‘in class’, obsolete grading systems? With all the professional and work-related changes, everyone is still reeling from a life in quarantine and the uncertainty of what the future will look like after life resumes in the outside world.

Although e-learning has been around for some time, it was not always a necessary tool in the educator’s toolbox; especially at the elementary level. The switch to distance learning for virtually all students came without warning for most teachers. Professional development in the use of the latest tech tools is necessary for teachers who now must teach remotely. The era of #COVID19 requires a supportive approach for colleagues as they traverse a new technological landscape. Remote learning requires different tech than used in the classroom.

What strategies can be used to keep GT students learning at home? It is a struggle to meet the needs of students from such diverse circumstances and it requires a multi-faceted approach to teaching them where they are both academically and emotionally. It is important that students be allowed to create a flexible learning space that provides both a reflection of their personality as well as structure for learning. Teachers need to check-in with students daily, present clear expectations and directions, and reconnect throughout the day. Parents should remember the importance of daily play and provide their kids with ‘brain breaks’ when possible.

Connections are vital today; not just with students, but with their families. Consider having ‘office hours’ to address the concerns of parents who are struggling with at-home schooling. Depending on available tech, these programs aid in connecting: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Remind, Seesaw, ParentSquare, and Voxer. Chat options for connecting include Backchannelchat, Loop, VO Teach, and Padlet. Resources for making videos include Screencastify, Screen-o-Matic and Loom. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom and Facebook Live. Multimedia resources include Buncee, Flipgrid, Padlet, and Wakelet.

There seems to be endless resources for teachers new to distance learning! It’s more a matter of choice. For STEM: Discovery Education, NatGeo Kids, DK FindOut!, and Cool Math Games. Social studies resources include Brain Pop, Time for Kids, and the Smithsonian. Reading resources include Scholastic Learn-at-Home, Story Pirates, and Harry Potter-at-Home. Movement activities should not be forgotten; especially for times when kids can’t go outside to play. Some online resources include GoNoodle (YouTube) and Cosmic Kids Yoga.

All of the resources used for teachers can also be used by parents when appropriate. Work with your child to see what works best for them and take into account which apps are age-appropriate. Parents can discuss options with their child’s teacher. Options used in the classroom that work well at home include journaling and PBL (project-based learning). Apps like Audible are offering free audio books.

A transcript of this chat with many more resources than I could list can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Math, Memes, and Maintaining a Social Distance

Out with the Test, in With PBL: How Project- Based Learning is Transforming Remote Learning

Unicorn Teacher: Free Resources for 7th and 8th Grade (Google Docs)

Keep America’s Students Learning At Home

Consortium for School Networking (website)

Remote Learning Could be a Good Time for a Capstone Project

10 Clever Ways Parents Around the Country Are Keeping Their Kids Active and Entertained

Coppell ISD – CHS Speaks: The Flip Side of Online Learning (YouTube 6:21)

Learning From a Distance? 6 Tips to Do It Well

Use the Data You Have Today to Group Students, Align Remote Resources & Plan for the Future

How Innovative Educators Are Engaging Students Online

10 Tips to Moving Classes Online—Now

5 Home Learning Experiences for the Elementary Grades

7 Guiding Principles for Parents Teaching from Home

Engaging Families in Distance Learning: Supporting from Afar

Fostering Connectedness During Remote Learning

Resources to Supplement and Enhance Distance Learning in the Elementary Grades

Distance Learning: A Gently Curated Collection of Resources for Teachers

Sifting Through the Digital Learning Options: The Most Powerful Personalized Leaning Edtech Tools Curated by LEAP

121 Tools for Distance Learning & Strategies for Student Engagement

Cybraryman’s Remote Learning Pages

Cybraryman’s Video Conferencing Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Homeschooling Pages

You Got This! A message of encouragement (YouTube 3:56)

Aurora Remember: Free Self-Regulation Lessons

Sprite’s Site: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Staying Socially Connected while Physically Distancing with Guest, Heather Vaughn, EdS

The terms social and physical distancing as well as social connecting have become a part of daily conversation as we all are learning to cope with the consequences of our current situation. It is not too soon, however, to consider the long-term consequences physical distancing. It will affect personal (one-to-one) relationships, families, and businesses. It will fundamentally change the meaning of ‘society’. Physical distancing will realign interpersonal priorities and how we engage with each other. It’s vital to frame these changes in a positive light. It should be viewed as an opportunity to improve our lives. An inability to cope with physical distancing can lead to profound loneliness, neglecting daily self-care, increased substance abuse, and attention issues.

What are the risks to our mental health from social isolation? Social isolation can pose a major risk to our mental health leading to increased anxiety and depression. The very thought of not knowing when it will end, increases these risks. It can affect different age groups differently. Parents need to watch for warning signs in their children as well as themselves (and their own parents). Social isolation can increase the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly; including those in the gifted community. No one is immune.

Staying connected is necessary for the continuance of society. Few have lived experiences to understand the scope of this crisis. Empathetic leadership is crucial. Connecting by personally checking on friends and family, leveraging technology to connect, and making time for informal connections are all important. Practical steps to staying in touch can include a simple phone call to a friend or family member, video chatting, engaging in activities together yet remotely.

What strategies can teachers use to help students stay socially connected? Teachers can encourage and facilitate virtual performances by their GT students as well as provide authentic audiences when it is time to perform and assess. They can serve as virtual mentors and share time with students to practice their skills. Teachers who are working from home can offer resources to students and their families that ensure a continuity of learning such as virtual experiences (field trips/explorations), book clubs, tutorials, or online study groups.

How can parents facilitate social connections for their kids? Parents are among the greatest facilitators in this time of crisis. Children are more vulnerable now to the effects of misinformation, neglect, and isolation from their friends and family. They can seek to connect their children through technology being mindful that interpersonal relationships within the family are paramount. Finding a balance between tech and time together is the goal.

It may be hard to realize at the moment, but benefits can be realized from our current situation. Most people are coming to the realization just how important the work of teachers, medical professionals, and service workers are to the continuity of society. It’s an important lesson learned that can’t be forgotten. Everyone can seek to use this time to do those activities that they seemed to never have time to do in the past. View webinars for personal and professional development, take online classes, and of course – join in Twitter chats!

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Social Revisioning at a Distance

It’s Possible to Find Happiness in Times of Social Isolation

How to Talk to Teens & Young Adults about Social Distancing

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

We’re All In This Together How to Engage in Social Connection While Socially Distancing

MIT: In a Time of Physical Distancing, Connecting Socially across Generations is More Important than Ever

How to Stay Socially Connected while Social Distancing

How to Stay Socially Connected while Physically Apart

Why You Need to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

CAN: Staying Connected while Practicing Social and Physical Distancing

CAN: Immersive technologies to address social isolation: Is a technological solution feasible and desirable?

AUS: Staying Connected while Being Physically Apart: Wellbeing in the Time of Social Distancing

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Connection During Times of Social Distancing

Forget ‘Social Distancing.’ The WHO Prefers We call it ‘Physical Distancing’ because Social Connections are More Important than Ever

Univ. of Chicago: How to Connect with Others in the Age of Social Distancing

Physical vs. Social Distancing: Ways to Make Social Contact

Stay Connected in Your Communities

Allen, TX HS Students Create Group to Help People’s Physical and Mental Health During Coronavirus Pandemic

Duke: How to be Productive under Quarantine

How Duke Students are Staying Connected during Quarantine

How to Maintain Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic without Feeling Depressed

Social Distancing while Staying Connected for Better Mental Health

APA: Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe

Psych Central: The Importance of Staying Connected While Practicing Social Distancing

Harvard Medical: Apps to Keep Us Connected in a Time of Social Distancing

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Google Meet Pages

Cybraryman’s Skype Pages

Civic Action Opportunities: Community Resource Guide (Google Doc)

Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Image courtesy of Heather Vaughn and Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Resources You Can Use Now for Educating a GT Child at Home

 

This week we thanked the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) for their 8 years of support!

 

It has been a stressful time to be alive as we learn to live in a new reality in a world responding to a global Pandemic. #gtchat is a free resource provided by TAGT for the entire gifted community. This week we have attempted to bring together and provide resources for parents and teachers who have suddenly faced educating their children and students at home.

What are some non-tech resources for educators suddenly contemplating teaching online? Non-tech resources are those dealing with content and curriculum rather than simply delivery systems. Many schools were closed suddenly with little or no advanced warning. This has complicated the process of switching to teaching online for many of the world’s teachers.

What technology resources cam be utilized for distance learning and keeping in touch? Technology resources involve delivering instruction online. Many platforms were already in use prior to quarantines. Please see below for possible resources. These resources are informational; not recommendations.

How do we teach our children about coronavirus (COVID19)? It is important to inform students about coronavirus, but it is also vitally important to make sure the information is factual and the latest available. Many GT students may be better informed than their parents and teachers. Listen to them, but push back on misinformation.

The social-emotional implications of long-term quarantining will affect both children and adults. It has long been posited that gifted children have social-emotional needs. Fortunately, this provides many resources already available to parents and educators.

What unique challenges are faced having GT children at home? This is a personal issue for parents. Every child is different and will respond long-term quarantine and time out of school in a variety of way. One unique challenge to be considered is asynchronous development – a child’s reaction to the current situation may not reflect their biological age, i.e., a younger child displaying feelings of invincibility usually seen in teens.

Some school districts have been heroic in their efforts to continue the education of their students while they are at home. Unfortunately, some states have blocked home education initiatives. Parents are having to deal with multiple aspects of a sudden quarantine; kids indoor all the time, working at home or finding childcare, and then the worry of providing their education as well.

We invite you to join us weekly on Twitter. Together we will get through this! A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11AM AEDT/Midnight UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Parents:

Duke TIP Resources for Families during Quarantine

Duke TIP Home Alone – Part 2

Learning at Home Resources: Ideas for Teachers and Parents

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Google Docs)

From Home Education to Higher Education

2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually

Simple and Fun Non-screen Activities that Children Can do at Home (Medium)

Totally Awesome LEGO Challenge Calendar

Scholastic Learn at Home

Storyline Online

The Best Homeschooling Resources Online

Educators:

Distance Learning During The Coronavirus Pandemic: Equity And Access Questions For School Leaders

KAGE: Virtual Gifted and Talented Enrichment Support Materials (pdf)

CMU CS Academy (free hs computer science curriculum)

Mashup Math: Free Printable Math Worksheets

Appropriate Reading Instruction for Gifted Students

Resources for Remote Learning

How Teachers Can Navigate School Closures Due to the Coronavirus

School Closure Planning: Free, Easy Science for Remote Learning

A Healthy Reminder to Educators During School Closures

Teachers and Homeschoolers: Let’s Be Kinder to Parents in this Pandemic

G/T:

TAGT: GT Resources for School Closures

NAGC: Resources for Educators & Parents During COVID-19

MENSA: At-home Learning Resources for Kids

Renzulli Learning Announces Its Collaborative Distance Learning System Now Available Free to Schools Worldwide

Australian Association for Education of the Gifted & Talented – Natural Disasters: Supporting Gifted Children during Difficult Times – A Guide for Parents and Teachers (pdf)

KAGE: Virtual Gifted Resources for Gifted and Talented Enrichment for Everyone Affected by COVID-19

Gifted and Talented Enrichment Support Materials (Google Doc)

#COVID19:

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: COVID19

Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte – Coronavirus: Everything You Need to Know (all things related to coronavirus and children)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Research: Free Medical, Social, and Behavioral Science Articles from SAGE Publishing

Fact Sheet: Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and 2019-nCoV (pdf)

Origin and Evolution of Pathogenic Coronaviruses

Best Practice – Online Teaching:

COVID-19: Resources for Educators

Edmodo: Distance Learning Toolkit

5 Tips to Prepare for a Remote Classroom Due to Coronavirus

CAN: Ontario Teachers Hosting Virtual Lessons as COVID-19 Keeps Students Out of Class

Social/Emo:

Too Much Worry – How do we help our gifted kids?

Teaching Life Skills to Gifted Children at School and at Home

SIG: Activities for Gifted Students while Practicing Social Distancing

SIG: Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Resources chat participants:

Overcoming Obstacles – Life Skills Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School — Free Now and Forever

Google: Teach from Home

Getting Through: Supporting Learners as they Transition to School at Home (parents)

On the Move to Online Learning

During Coronavirus, a Teacher Describes the Scramble to Go Digital

Science Tots

Calendar of Virtual Field Trips for Families March/April 2020 (Google Docs)

Making Connections: Genius Hour at Home

Short Story Exploration (pdf)

Kansas Continuous Learning 2020

Davidson Gifted: Is Your Gifted Child Ready for Online Learning?

KidNuz

Prepare for Distance Learning with Newsela

Genius Hour (At Home)

Davidson Academy Online 2020 Open House – Technology

Sprite’s Site: Wrensday

Cybraryman’s Educational Web Sites

BBC: A History of the World

Image courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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